FRANCE. Brittany: Christian Prudhomme, French journalist and General Director of the ‘Tour de France‘ waved the flag from the commissaire’s car to kick off The 108th ‘Tour de France’ on Saturday. 184 riders representing 27 countries took off for stage 1 from Brest to Landerneau.
The 108th edition of the ‘Tour de France’ that commenced on June 26 will finish in Paris on July 18. The tournament will be held in 21 stages and approximately 20 -22 teams are competing in the 23-day tournament. The Tour is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are mostly UCI World Teams. Since 2014, the ‘La Course’ by ‘Le Tour de France’ is held for women in a one- or two-day format during the men’s race.
Out of 184 riders participating this time, 33 riders are from France, 22 from Belgium, 17 from Spain, 14 from The Netherlands, 12 from Germany , 11 from Denmark, 10 from Australia and Great-Britain, 9 from Italy. The youngest rider is Britain’s 22-year-old Fred Wright riding for Bahrain Victorious and the oldest is Spain’s 41-year-old Alejandro Valverde riding for Movistar.
Stage details for Tour de France
This year’s ‘Tour de France’ will see 8 flat stages, 5 hilly stages, 6 mountain stages with 3 finishes at altitude namely Tignes, Saint-Lary-Soulan col du Portet and Luz Ardiden, 2 individual time-trial stages, 2 rest days.Stage 8 i.e. Vierzon to Le Creusot will be the longest stage of the Tour with a distance measuring 248 kms. The race alternates between clockwise and counter- clockwise circuits of France.
10 new stage cities have found place in this year’s tour. The riders will tackle two individual time trials and six mountain stages on trips to the Alps and Pyrenees as they race 3,414 km around France. The total distance of two individual time trials will be 58 km, 27 km between Changé and Laval Espace Mayenne on stage 5 and 31 km between Libourne and Saint-Émilion on stage 20.
History of the race
Established more than a century ago, ‘Tour de France’ is world’s most prestigious and difficult bicycle race that attracts scores of spectators each year. It is one of the famous races along with Italy’s Giro d’Italia and Spain’s Vuelta a España. The inaugural run of the Tour de France was in 1903 and the race continued every year since except during World Wars I and II. The race was primarily organized to increase sales for the newspaper L’Auto. As the Tour gained prominence and popularity, the length of the race was gradually increased and riders from across the world started participating.
Young achievers of 2020
Tadej Pogacar is the defending champion of Tour de France. The Slovenian cyclist defeated his compatriot Roglic in the final time trial in 2020. He also broke the Ineos/Sky stranglehold on the race who won seven of the previous eight ‘Tours de France’ race. Moreover, Pogacar also won the yellow, polka dot and white jerseys last year and secured the title of mountain classification champion breaking the three-year French stranglehold on the jersey. Both Pogacar and Roglic are favourite contenders for the trophy this year.
2020 tour also saw Peter Sagan defeated by Sam Bennett in the quest for the green jersey. This year Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe and Sam Bennett of Deceuninck-QuickStep might face challenge from Wout van Aert of Jumbo-Visma, Pascal Ackermann of Bora-Hansgrohe, Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal, Sonny Colbrelli of Bahrain Victorious, Giacomo Nizzolo of Qhubeka Assos and many more in the quest for green jersey.
List of Stages with distances
- Stage 1 – From Brest to Landerneau on June 26 covering a distance of 198 km
- Stage 2 – From Perros-Gueirec to Mûr de Bretagne on June 27 covering a distance of 183.5 km
- Stage 3 – From Lorient to Pontivy on June 28 covering a distance of 182.9 km
- Stage 4 – From Redon to Fourgères on June 29 covering a distance of 150.4 km
- Stage 5 – From Changé to Laval Espace Mayenne (ITT) on June 30 covering a distance of 27.2 km
- Stage 6 – From Tours to Chàteauroux on July 1 covering a distance of 160.6 km
- Stage 7 – From Vierzon to La Creusot on July 2 covering a distance of 249.1 km
- Stage 8 – From Oyonnax to Le Grand Bornard on July 3 covering a distance of 150.8 km
- Stage 9 – From Cluses to Tignes on July 4 covering a distance of 144.9 km
- Rest Day 1 – July 5, 2021
- Stage 10 – From Albertville to Valence on July 6 covering a distance of 190.7 km
- Stage 11 – From Sorgues to Maulacène on July 7 covering a distance of 198.9 km
- Stage 12 – From Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nîmes on July 8 covering a distance of 159.4 km
- Stage 13 – From Nîmes to Carcassonne on July 9 covering a distance of 219.9 km
- Stage 14 – From Carcassonne to Quillan on July covering a distance of 183.7 km
- Stage 15 – From Céret to Andorre-La-Vieille on July 11 covering a distance of 191.3 km
- Rest Day 2 July 12, 2021
- Stage 16 – From Pas de la Case to Saint-Gaudens on July 13 covering a distance of 169 km
- Stage 17 – From Muret to Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet on July 14 covering a distance of 78.4 km
- Stage 18 – From Pau to Luz-Ardiden on July 15 covering a distance of 129.7 km
- Stage 19 – From Mourenx to Libourne on July 16covering a distance of 207 km
- Stage 20 – From Libourne to Saint-Emilion on July 17 covering a distance of 30.8 km
- Stage 21 – From Chatou to Paris Champs-Élysees on July 18 covering a distance of 108.4
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